Scots pay inflation at 46-month high as vacancies rise

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs shows that permanent and short-term job vacancies continued to rise sharply in October — but staff availability worsened, contributing to further marked increases in pay.

“The availability of candidates to fulfil vacant roles in Scotland continued to decline at the start of the fourth quarter,” said the report.

“Permanent labour supply fell substantially and at a quicker pace than for the UK as whole.

“Short-term staff availability also decreased, extending the current period of deterioration to 21 months.

“That said, rates of decline eased in both cases.

“Permanent staff in Scotland were awarded higher starting salaries during the latest survey period, as has been the case since March 2013.

“In fact, the rate of pay inflation was substantial and accelerated to a 46-month high.

“Notably, the increase was faster than that for the UK overall for the first time since July.

“Temporary staff in Scotland also observed further growth in wages during October.

“Hourly pay rates increased markedly, despite the pace of increase softening.”

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Latest survey data continues to signal strong labour market conditions in Scotland.

“Although permanent appointments rose at a slower rate, the increase was marked and faster than the UK average, while the rise in short-term staff billings quickened.

“Moreover, with sharp growth in demand for staff and deteriorating candidate supplies being sustained, pay pressures continued to lift.

“Efforts to attract new joiners was evidenced by starting salary inflation accelerating to a near four- year high in October.”